Police have issued a stern warning over raves after intercepting a large outdoor party.

Officers from Hertfordshire's police force recently moved on a vehicle containing large speakers after its occupants admitted they were planning on playing music for a large gathering in Pitstone Quarry, just over the border in Bedfordshire.

The Constabulary has now issued a rave alert following incident - urging people to be aware of the signs of large and unlicensed gatherings.

Chief Inspector Chris Treadwell, who leads Hertfordshire’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Team, said that "many people will likely accuse us of being spoilsports but we are here to keep the people of Hertfordshire safe".

He continued: "Not only are unlicensed raves illegal but in the current circumstances, they clearly breach the Government measures stating there must be no large gatherings in order to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"These types of events are dangerous for attendees as there are often no crowd control measures, medical staff or security provision on site.

“These unlicensed gatherings also pose difficulties for emergency services who, if in the event they are needed on the site, could struggle to access those who need help if no pre-planning has been undertaken by organisers."

He continued: “Therefore we would like to appeal for the public’s help and ask them to be alert to any suspicious activity in their communities.

"Often rave organisers choose rural locations so we are asking those living in these areas to remain vigilant, ensure their land is properly secured and report any suspicious activity to us. However, these events often also take place in industrial areas so we are asking everyone to keep an eye out.

“The key to stopping these events in their tracks is early intelligence so please let us know if you, or anyone else you know, has been approached looking for land to hire, even if the activity appears genuine.

“Those who organise these unlawful events will face the full force of the law in the form of arrest and prosecution. Those who choose to attend these events will also face enforcement action and could receive a criminal record. You could be risking your life by attending. Please, think twice.”

The force added that any large gatherings "cannot happen" while social distancing is in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as more people head to beaches, parks and beauty spots to soak up the sun.

Police have issued the following signs for people to look out for if they suspect a rave is going on:

• Cropped bolts on gates

• Flattened or disturbed hedgerows

• People in vehicles stopping to look into a field

• People climbing over a fence or gate to look into a field

• Posters or social media messages advertising a large gathering

• Vehicles entering fields or open spaces

• People unloading sound equipment